Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Airport

This week's theme is airplanes, and yesterday we discussed airports. We covered such important vocabulary words as "flight attendant" and "escalator" but I found the day before more interesting, what with "cargo hold" and "fuel tank." Just the kind of thing a five year old ESL student needs to learn. Anyway, I thought these journal entries were rather cute. I'll arrange them in order of newest kid in my class to most experienced so you can see whether there's a difference.

Here is Jamie's work. Jamie arrived in Smile class about two weeks ago. He was really terrible at first, climbing all over all the furniture, throwing himself around at other kids, and demanding all of my energy and attention. He's calmed down quite a bit since then and I'm seriously relieved. Don't you like his person waiting there at the airport? Where is his friend? I guess when you punch everyone it's hard to get people to like you.

The next to join the class was Stephanie. Not the old Happy class Stephanie but a new one with a cute smile and a very quiet disposition. Arriving just before Jamie, she cried, no, bawled, for about a week (beginning at Jamie's arrival) but this week there hasn't been a single tear yet - highly correlated to Jamie's progress. Her writing needs a bit of work, and she especially needs to work on using an eraser, but hey, it's not too bad.

Next is John who started at the inception of Smile class at the beginning of the month. He was the biggest troublemaker before Jamie came on the scene but sort of pulled up his socks since then. He cares more about doing the right thing and though he has a tendency to hit people (including me!) he takes the consequences seriously. He's starting to do his work, too. I love his Korean Air plane with him and Yoon looking through the window. They're lucky to have both gotten a window seat.

Alice started in Happy class back in December or January and I never bonded with her until the last little while. It just didn't happen. I felt like she was an emotionless brick who never really spoke. She didn't break the rules but she didn't make an effort to participate. Maybe the class level was a little high for her. Now that there are fewer kids in the class she's really starting to come out of herself... she talks all the time. IN KOREAN! It drives me crazy! But she also is the best reader in the class, in that she can do it. The other kids can read very simple words they've seen before but she can sound 'em out and everything. Wow. She writes in huge print and she colors everything in the brightest colors ever. Her mother also dresses her in the most hideously multicolored things ever. I quite like Alice's airplane and the picture of her and her mommy. That huge red mouth is... so red.
Next we have Yoon. Ahh, good old Yoon who started at the beginning of the original Happy class way back in July. He didn't know a damn thing. Now he's a superstar. Just look at those letters!!! His printing kicks butt and he's pretty good at speaking and reading too. He really tries all the time. I love the boy. He does still have to work on his drawing, perhaps, though those smiles really make my day. And the suitcase is pretty cool too.

Mindy started at the same time as Yoon and she knew just as little as he did. She hated me and school for weeks because of her unfortunate circumstance of being forced to go to English immersion. I don't blame her. Now she's the best behaved kid in my class. She never speaks Korean and she never breaks the rules and she has really great writing. Look at that writing! Her reading isn't quite there yet but she's getting there. She rocks! And she's so cute. You wouldn't be able to stand how cute she is. If there's any reason to come to Korea for a visit it's to see Mindy. Her drawing skill level has really gone up since she was a little baby five year old, too. Lately she's on a "wide eye" kick. Everybody she draws has eyes on the sides of their heads, no exceptions. It's cute, I have to admit. I think I'll take that up.

And here is my work of art. I've been studying English for close to twenty years and drawing pictures for even more and I can't say I'm much better than some of the kids.
Ahh well, at least I don't write like this boy. He's nine. What a moron. ;)


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